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Deleuze and Sex$
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Frida Beckman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748642618

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748642618.001.0001

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Encounters of Ecstasy

Encounters of Ecstasy

(p.200) Chapter 10 Encounters of Ecstasy
Deleuze and Sex

Patricia MacCormack

Edinburgh University Press

‘How’, this chapter asks, ‘can we think a sexuality which is larval potentiality, non-volitional or authorised by self or regimes of signification, which has no before and after but is always and infinite, and which is loss of self without nihilism, an imperceptible sexuality?’ Weighing masochism against ecstasy, MacCormack shows that while the more frequently noted subject of masochism in Deleuze's philosophy has limitations with regard to becoming-imperceptible, the underexplored theme of ecstasy harbours a great potential for escaping signification. If masochism in Deleuze emerges through a web of temporal and contractual conditions, ecstasy is outside time. It introduces the unexpected and the unknown, it is an intensity that cannot under any circumstances be reduced to subjectivity and signification. If masochism is human, ecstasy is non-human. Paying attention to mysticism, the demonic and the angelical, and focusing particularly on the ecstatic experiences of Saint Teresa of Avila, MacCormack explores the functions of pain, flesh and the body in making unnatural connections and becomings.

Keywords:   Ecstasy, Masochism, Demonic, Nonhuman

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